Who’s Still Buzzing?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The temps hit mid-forties this weekend.  In the middle of February, you take any opportunity to check on the girls and make sure they have plenty of food.  My last check was disappointing.  Mint hive was the only one that showed any significant activity, and yellow hive had died.  I since made a sugar cake, just incase, and upon tapping on the hives a few times over the past week or two, I was relieved to hear some signs of life.  But I wasn’t sure of their current states until today…

Pink Hive – This is what you want to see when you lift the cover… 

Pink Hive - looking good!

Mint Green Hive – A smaller cluster, but still going.  

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Green Hive – Small, tight cluster – looking good.

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Blue Hive – I could see how they were doing before I even lifted the lid. 

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Blue hive –  strong on the inside too!  

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Yay, four hives still going.  As happy as I was to see them, they weren’t happy at all to see me.  Mean little buggers.  I love my bees, but they really need to learn to be more gracious to the beekeeper who feeds them!

I’m never too optimistic for fear of jinxing them.  Anything can happen at any time, and we still have another solid month and half of cold weather (6 weeks at least if you listen to Mr. Groundhog).  They say March timeframe is one of the riskiest – that’s often when hives start to become active and can easily starve if they don’t have enough stores.  I’ll keep another sugar cake in reserve, just for added insurance.   As for why yellow hive died out – that’s a good question – who knows, mites, starvation.  I need to pull the boxes apart and inspect further, but if I’m not mistaken, that’s the only hive that never had a Texas queen.  My Texas bees are hardy and they seemed to thrive in the cold weather last year.  So this year I’ll try to split more hives from my Texas girls.  We really need to work on their temperaments though.

Here’s to wishing away the winter blahs and hoping for an early spring!

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4 thoughts on “Who’s Still Buzzing?

  1. With the temps at 70 degrees at my house, i went in to wish my girls a happy new year and to clean out some frames a bit.

    I saw the queens in both hives!

    The more active green hive when temps hit 40 had capped brood on both sides of about 3-4 frames and honey every where…. I found the queen in the bottom box to my surprise as the brood was in the middle box…..I did not rotate this hive box to the top.

    The more conservative purple hive that only unclusters and comes out when it is bikini weather had a lot of honey and stuff in the top and middle but i saw no capped brood. The bottom box was pretty light and emptyish so I rotated this box to the top so I kept the queen’s box where I found her. I used my quiet box when I found the queens to keep them safe while I went through each colony. i removed the remaining apivar strips from december. I used a pillow case to drape over a hive box I would have on the ground. For the first time I used a stool to sit on- So Nice!!!!

    My wife was down below and she got tagged in the face. I told her to scrape the stinger off and not to try to pull it out like a splinter…..WHAT A STUBBORN ‘OLE MULE. Of course she didn’t listen to me. ME….I will bee a bonafide beekeeper in a few weeks and she didn’t listen to me. whatever…!

    so far so good…lotsa bees.

    vincent

    • Hi Vincent – “Bikini weather”? Send some of that up here, will ya! Glad your girls are doing well. Your wife is braver than my husband. He’s been tagged and chased too many times. He doesn’t come to visit my bees anymore. Hope her face didn’t poof up. I got it in the lip once – I looked like a character from The Simpsons :o) Thanks for sharing and keep up the excellent beekeeping!

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